Re: [gardeners] my raised bed garden

George Shirley (
Tue, 04 Sep 2001 19:09:30 -0500

My Burmese okra gets about 6 to 8 inches long if I leave it three days. Two days is max here in SW
LA for that stuff. I'm not as fond of it as I am the Burgundy okra from Burpee's, it can get 8 to 10
inches long and still be nice and tender. Only gets that long if I forget to pick it one day. Miz
Anne harvested some of it today that was 12 inches long and about 2 inches in diameter at the base
and it was still tender! I couldn't believe it and feel it must have something to do with the fact
that the sun hasn't cracked through the clouds much this week.


Margaret Lauterbach wrote:
> I just picked a large gorgeous red Big Jim pepper, the sight of which I
> want to enjoy for a few days before I roast it for the freezer.  As for the
> rest of my raised bed gardens, I had some successes and failures.  I think
> the failures were due to haste since I had to wait until the raised beds
> were finished before I planted. Planning then became haphazard and "there's
> a hole I'll fill" situation. I planted podding radishes right next to
> beans, for example. Not a good idea.
> My Aconcagua peppers are not the right color, and the flavor is a bit
> off.  They should be pale green, ripening to red.  Nope, these are a nasty
> yellow.  Something wrong with the seeds.  Also, my Cherokee Purple tomatoes
> were scared by a cherry tomato. They're supposed to be large, 12-ounce
> slicing tomatoes. These are about one inch in diameter, although the flavor
> and color are correct.
> However, I harvested about 40 pounds of shallots, mostly quite large
> bulbs.  Those I plant in a double row, sort of zigzag fashion, thumb to
> pinkie distance, with the soaker hose down the middle.  Basil and lettuce
> grew under a large green shadecloth raised 18 inches off the soil, and they
> did beautifully.  I have a big crop of celery, the food bank will get a lot
> of it.  I grew early lettuce, chard, mache and beets under floating row
> cover, and they were gorgeous when i pulled back the cover.  Next year I'll
> do the same, but I will immediately start harvesting the chard when it's
> tender.  Exposed to sun and wind it gets tough and chewy.
> I grew some alleged bush beans that decided to run instead, and since they
> threatened to overwhelm my chiles, I pulled them out. I harvested a couple
> of gallons of yellow wax beans out of a partial row, and from a 17-foot row
> of Contender green beans I picked 9 full corn pots of beans.  These are
> large enameled pots, not as large as canning pots, but darned big.  Up to
> our ears in beans we were.
> Garden is still producing, but I'm beginning to pull out the cole crops I
> don't know what to do with since the cabbage aphids are here in force, and
> the few active wasps in the garden just shrug.  I won't plant stuff like
> spigariello again.  I did taste a leaf and didn't like it. I loved a leafy
> unknown called "Bietina," and it's gone to seed, but the seeds are not
> turning brown yet, darn it.
> We have discovered our dog is a connoisseur of fine melons and overripe
> cucumbers.  We've been lucky enough to have saved two Charantais melons
> from his jaws, as well as two Rocky Ford cantaloupes.  We let him pig out
> on the overripe cucumbers he found. He ate nearly half of the melons before
> we caught him in the act.  He's not a bit embarrassed, and is reluctant to
> accept our puny "bite" offerings of the melon he gulped down.  He finally
> has his surgical collar off (his biopsy was benign, thank God) so he can
> hunt mice too.  That Zephyr squash from Johnny's Selected Seeds is a
> pistol. I think it produces even more than zucchini, but it is a very nice,
> buttery squash.  And I've been harvesting little Burmese okras about every
> other day. Southern Exposure Seed Exchange sells seeds for this variety
> they claim is not as slimy as other varieties.  But it is pretty slimy,
> though. I'm going to use the okras in Indian dishes, curries and Cajun
> dishes (the name slips my mind). Hope your gardens did well...Margaret L